This applies to cars and computers, and I'm sure that many of us denizens of the 'Fritter have noticed. Why is it that you can buy a whole used system (or, say, 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity) for a lot less than the parts to build one? Think about it. Right now, a Mac SE has a street value hovering near $5 (though I get a real kick out of those folks on eBay who optimistically try to sell a "slightly used RARE! Macintosh SE with 1mb RAM and 20mb HD" with starting bids near $50). However, try to just buy the parts; one sure-fire place to find them (sounds like Bun Tree-Barketing) will easily send anyone into sticker shock (same goes for trying to get a water pump for a 1989 Ford Tempo; it always turns out to be a significant percentage of the car's value).
Don't get me wrong, I love things old (after all... well... ). It has just always struck me as a little weird, though. Perhaps even piratical. One of my favorite gripes from a dealer was that it is his way of recouping the costs of having to tear-down the systems to get the parts. Maybe the time has come for a "you-pull-it" computer store. Dream my dream, imagine...
SALES CLERK (think "Beavis & Butthead") - Yeah, can I help you?
CUSTOMER (for some reason, I can't help but think of Janeane Garofalo)- Well, I'm looking for a hard drive mounting bracket for an IBM PS/2 Model 90? Do you have those?
SALES CLERK (snorts) - Well, yeah, we have a whole stack of those dinos back there against the back wall. (He goes to the counter and fetches a small tool box) You'll need these.
CUSTOMER - Look, I run the IT department at a pretty good sized company, I know my way around computers...
SALES CLERK - Gaw, but you're a chick.
CUSTOMER (scowling, picks up tool box) - Okay... just point me in the right direction.
At any rate, not likely. Let's face it, sales is not about altruism, it's about money, usually gobs and gobs of it. Besides, that thought of mine could wreck the American Dream, and I for one do not want to be responsible for undermining our societal foundations.
Still strikes me as silly...